Last year, Google Trends released a map that allegedly showed the most popular Super Bowl snacks in every state, based on Internet searches. It was less a revelation about regional football watch-party habits and more a journey into the heart of darkness. Yes, there were wings and buffalo-chicken dip, but Massachusetts wanted to know more about gluten-free pretzels, Mississippi had granola bars on the menu and Montanans were googling recipes for lentil soup, because no Super Bowl party is complete without an earthy bowl of hot legume water.
With the caveat that such maps are, for the most part, utter malarkey, Google Trends is back at it again for this year's Super Bowl. And while more states apparently are searching for according-to-Hoyle Super Bowl foods such as chili (nine of them) or various dips (10), others continue to insist on being complete weirdos.
Alaska: Dill pickle with beef dip
Until, oh, about 30 minutes ago I did not know this was a thing. But a quick Google search (which probably wrecked D.C. for next year’s Google Trends Super Bowl food map) shows that it is very much a thing. The first result, from a blog called An Affair From the Heart, asks in its lengthy windup to the actual recipe: “You know those dill pickle wraps? The ones with the dried beef, the cream cheese and the dill pickle in the middle? You wrap them, and slice them into little delicious 'sushi roll’ looking bites of yumminess. They are a hit at all of the parties!”
Dear Alaska reader, I do not know those dill pickle wraps. Frankly, they sound horrifying, even if dill pickles are the undisputed heavyweight champion of the pickle world (bread-and-butter pickles are garbage pickles). Most recipes for dill pickle with beef dip call for just three main ingredients: cream cheese, dried beef and pickles, though there are variants that add garlic, sour cream and/or green onions. Someone, somewhere (Alaska, its residents succumbing to the madness created by its numbing geographic isolation?) thought to take these three disparate foodstuffs and combine them into what I can only imagine is the sourest, saltiest trinity in all of food. Nope.
Idaho and Nevada: Potato
Yep, we're just sitting around and googling "potato." Not a specific type of potato - you have your russets, and your jewel yams, and your Hannah sweet, and your Rose Finn, and your Russian banana, and your red thumb, and your off-putting purple potatoes - or even a potato-based recipe for salad or a casserole. Just "potato." While this is probably standard Internet-search activity in Idaho, I expected so much more out of Nevada, whose arid, casino-intense landscapes do not suggest much in the way of a potato-based economy.
Wyoming: Ground beef
Cowboy beef tartare, perhaps? Otherwise, Wyoming joins Idaho and Nevada in googling not Super Bowl recipes but simply the base ingredients for Super Bowl recipes.
North Dakota and South Dakota: Pizza sauce and marinara sauce
I've never been to either Dakota and thus was unaware of either state's yearning to learn more about red sauces. If the Times' next food-trend piece is about the burgeoning pizza scene in Pierre or Minot, now we know why.
When you picture fondue, you conjure images of smartly dressed people sitting around a big heated bowl with pointy wooden sticks and maybe some bread or apples. They're probably listening to jazz, and maybe are in 1978. You do not conjure images of bourbon-filled Kentuckians wildly brandishing those sticks after Patrick Mahomes scores late to kill their 49ers moneyline bets (and if we're being serious here, they're probably watching the 2012 Kentucky-Kansas NCAA tournament title game that they still have on the DVR). Alas, here we are.
Georgia: Ham, turkey and bologna sub
I will save you a click, Georgia: To make a ham, turkey and (why?) bologna sub, you take slices of ham, turkey and (again: why?) bologna, stack them on some sort of long roll, add toppings of your choice (Google "toppings" if unsure), fold and eat.
Nebraska: Cream cheese jalapeño hamburger
Add pickle, put it in a blender and you've got a big hit in Alaska.
Mississippi: Green beans with beef broth
“Mississippi green beans” do, apparently, exist. But so do “Arkansas green beans” and “Alabama southern style green beans” and “Georgian green beans” and probably green-bean recipes from every other state with an SEC school in it. (There’s even “Missouri green beans”!) But only in the Magnolia State are those green beans tied to Super Bowl Sunday by virtue of a statistically dubious study of Internet search traffic, and for that we are blessed.